What is the difference between the Romney Marsh sheep breed and how difficult it is to breed them
Tell me, how demanding is the Romney Marsh sheep breed? We have a small farm in our village that breeds these sheep, and so my wife and I decided to try and take a couple for ourselves. For now, we plan to grow it for meat, and if everything works out, maybe we will also engage in breeding, at least for personal purposes, because everyone in our family loves mutton. Do animals grow fast and what is special about this breed?
Unlike cows, sheep do not differ in high milk yield and are bred mainly for meat and for the sake of a soft fleece. Therefore, it is important that animals not only have high performance in this regard, but also grow quickly. The Romney Marsh sheep breed is one of the best English breeds, characterized by high endurance and early maturity. They are unpretentious, they spend most of their time in pastures, where they get their own food. At the same time, they rarely get sick and besides, they give tasty tender meat and a lot of the most delicate soft wool..
Romney Marsh sheep breed – external characteristic
Animals of this breed are rather large, with a barrel-shaped body and a wide chest. Their backs are straight, legs are straight and strong. On a thick neck sits a large, narrow head with dark nostrils and a straight profile, covered with thick hair up to the eyes. Well-crimped white fibers have a staple structure and a length of up to 20 cm.
The weight of a ram with a balanced diet can reach 140 kg, while females are much smaller, maximum 90 kg.
Productivity and reproduction
A young lamb at the age of six months weighs up to 40 kg, which is very good for sheep and confirms their early maturity. If the animals are fed correctly, then their meat will be tender. Moreover, the yield is at least 54% from one animal.
The fleece of romney marches is thick, semi-thin, of high quality, the net yield is more than 58%. Males give up to 13 kg of wool a year, females – half as much, but their fleece is more delicate and thin, therefore it is valued higher.
In terms of fineness quality, the Romney Marsh sheep breed has a level from 48 to 58. The better the conditions of detention, the more nutritious the food, the better the fleece will be and the higher the level.
A sheep is ready for mating as early as 1.5 years old, when its weight is at least 65 kg. She carries a maximum of two lambs within 5 months, which she easily gives birth to herself. Newborns weigh up to 5 kg, grow rapidly, gaining at least 400 g every day. And although the female has enough milk for the lambs and still remains, raising sheep for this is unprofitable. Despite the fact that milk is tasty and fatty, the amount for sale is small..
Features of the content
The main feature of Romney Marsh sheep is endurance. Long hair allows them to be in the fresh air for a long time, so animals can “disappear” on pastures for days. They tolerate both heat and cold well, love and can run, which only strengthens their health. Even on wet pastures, sheep do not get sick, the main thing is that there is enough greenery. The quality of meat, fleece, milk is significantly reduced with a lack of vegetation, which also weakens the endurance of the breed.
In winter, the sheep are kept in dry, spacious and bright rooms with a walking area. If in the summer the main diet is grass, then in the cold season the animals are given hay, wheat, bran, vegetables. And it is imperative that vitamin supplements are made so that they grow well..
Pros and cons of the breed
Among other breeds, Romney Marsh sheep differ:
- early maturity;
- large body size;
- a quality rune;
- tender meat;
The breed has one drawback – a small litter (two lambs per year compared to breeds that bring up to 7 calves at a time). In addition, nutrition plays an important role in product quality. You can breed the breed only in an area where there is enough vegetation..